Inspiring resiliency through education
June 2023 – June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a time to recognize, appreciate and honour Indigenous cultures and communities in Canada.
At Cenovus Energy, we recognize our responsibility to support reconciliation with Indigenous people and we do this by progressing our Indigenous reconciliation targets, delivering our Social Investment Strategy, and providing education and training programs for staff and Indigenous communities.
Cenovus has been a long-time supporter of Indspire, a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. Since 2018, Cenovus’s contributions to Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards Program have funded 195 Cenovus scholarships. A significant investment announced in 2022 will fund 25 scholarships for Indigenous students that will be matched by the Government of Canada for a total of 50 awards a year for four years.
Former Indspire scholarship recipient and current Lakeland College student, Jon Albert, says the support of these organizations and Cenovus have helped pave the way for his success in achieving his 3rd Class Power Engineering qualification.
“My educational journey has been a little unconventional. At 43, I’m a mature student nearing the end of a long path of discovery,” shares Jon. “I was a high school drop-out and to look back now and see how far I’ve come, I’m so grateful and proud.
“I wanted to break the cycle – I came from nothing and had life goals of having my own vehicle, owning a house and having a family. This is why I went back to school. I wanted to set a good example for my kids and other youth.”
After a six-year hiatus, Jon had the opportunity to complete his high school diploma while attending Lakeland College, and restarted his journey. From exploring a teaching qualification, obtaining a Journeyman Gasfitter “A” ticket and working in the oilpatch on and off, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that Jon realized his true passion was power engineering.
During his studies at Lakeland College, Jon was thankful to receive a Cenovus Indspire Building Brighter Futures scholarship, which allowed him stay focused on his studies without having to worry about finances and supporting his family.
“Along with the scholarship, it was amazing to hear of Cenovus’s support of Indigenous student success at Lakeland College,” shares Jon. “This place is very special to me – I’ve been honoured to be inducted into the President’s Circle for my contributions to student life and achievements and even made the Dean’s Honour List on two occasions – none of this would have been possible without the support of my peers and instructors.
Jon’s success has helped promote programming to other students on campus and in the community of Lloydminster. His involvement in the college’s Indigenous Student Council has helped raise awareness of Indigenous culture, including offering students the opportunity to participate in an annual teepee-raising ceremony.
Our ICSC@Cenovus group supports Indigenous staff and allies to improve cultural understanding and reconciliation. Learn more.